HARARE, Zimbabwe – Two Zimbabwean journalists were arrested after they reported that the government secretly paid salaries and bonuses to intelligence staffers while other civil servants went unpaid in December.
Journalists from the privately owned Newsday newspaper, Nqaba Matshazi and Xolisani Ncube, were released on $200 bail each on Friday. They were charged with publishing falsehoods and will appear in court again on Jan. 27.
Last month, the Zimbabwean government paid about 276,000 civil servants late, with only soldiers getting their money on time.
Journalists in Zimbabwe are routinely detained on allegations of false reporting in stories critical of top officials. Three journalists working at a state-owned newspaper are set to appear in court on Feb. 29, after publishing a story implicating a top policeman in an elephant poaching syndicate in November.